I once met a man with hands like moths,
fluttering, moving, always, drawn to anything light.
he would set things ablaze for the warmth alone,
stay a safe distance and turn his palms to the flames as if in placation.
far enough not to hear the sickening collapse of the stairs as they fell,
taxed, under stress until they caved.
far enough not to see the glass turn dark and dirty,
clouded with smoke until it burst,
showering down on the scorched pavement like stinging, glittering rain.
he did not care about the color of the walls,
so carefully chosen, now burnt to the bones,
nor the photos lining the shelves, curled and scorched now.
a million little treasures disregarded
by a man who would never know warmth,
no matter how many things he sets fire to.
from a distance, all he could see was the burn,
the eruption of sparks at the collapse,
sparks on their way to join the stars above.
I once knew a man like a moth,
who would sneak into the carefully hidden-away places inside of me
and consume little bits of things,
making me as unsure of my own memory as I was
of a favorite sweater, now half-ruined,
punched through with little holes.
this is a man who will never know love,
no matter how many dreams he takes hold of.
from a distance, all I could see was the shape of him,
as I walked away to join the crowd below.